Italian media: Captain in cruise case detained

ROME — The captain of a cruise liner that ran aground wtih some 4,000 passengers on board has been detained while he is investigated on allegations of manslaughter and abandoning his ship, Italian media reported Saturday.

Italian Coast guard personnel recovers the black box of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia after running aground the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio

ROME — The captain of a cruise liner that ran aground wtih some 4,000 passengers on board has been detained while he is investigated on allegations of manslaughter and abandoning his ship, Italian media reported Saturday.

Three bodies were recovered from the sea after the Costa Concordia ran aground near the coast of Tuscany late Friday, ripping a hole in its hull and forcing thousands to escape in a chaotic, terrifying evacuation. Some 40 people are still unaccounted for.

Experts have questioned how the 52-year-old captain with 11 years working for the ship’s owner could hit so close to the island of Giglio given Italy’s well mapped sea lanes.

The chief prosecutor in the Tuscan city of Grosseto, Francesco Verusio, was quoted by the ANSA news agency as telling reporters that the captain “very ineptly got close to Giglio.”

“The ship struck a reef that got stuck inside the left side, making it (the ship) lean over and take on a lot of water in the space of two, three minutes,” he said.

Schettino was at the command, and it was “he who ordered the route, that’s what it appears to us. It was a deliberate” choice to follow that route, ANSA quote him as saying.

It quoted Stecchino’s lawyer, Bruno Leporatti as saying his client understands why he was being detained but that “as his defender, I’d like to say that several hundred people owed their life to the expertise that the commander of the Costa Concordia showed during the emergency.”

ANSA quoted Francesco Schettino’s sister, Giulia, as saying her brother called their mother, 80-year-old Rosa, at five in the morning, saying “Mamma, there has been a tragedy. But stay calm. I tried to save the passengers. But for a while, I won’t be able to phone you.”

Stecchino hails from Meta di Sorrento, in the Naples area where many of Italy’s ferry and cruise boat captains are from. Giulia Schettino was quoted by ANSA as saying that he also asked to speak to his brother, Salvatore, who also is a sailor, to tell him what happened aboard.

ANSA reported Stecchino was taken to Grosseto’s jail, to be held until next week, when a judge will decide whether he should be released or formally put under arrest. The courthouse was closed late Saturday and couldn’t be reached.

In Italy, suspects can be held without charge for a few days for investigation. A judge must either validate the jailing, putting the suspect under arrest, or declare him free to go.

Just Posted

Alberta premier unhappy with Suzuki honorary degree but defends academic freedom

EDMONTON — Premier Rachel Notley says she does not agree with the… Continue reading

Excessive dog poop on Blackfalds ball diamonds frustrates town

Melting snow in Blackfalds uncovered ball diamonds full of dog poop, frustrating… Continue reading

Registration exceeds expectations for UCP founding convention in Red Deer

“We had to book an additional hall,” says local MLA Ron Orr

WATCH: Red Deer students get active, healthy

Healthy Active Schools Symposium takes place in schools

Celebrate all women this Mother’s Day in Central Alberta

A breakfast fundraiser is scheduled May 12 in Lacombe

Photo: Poplar Ridge Grade 6 class learn about newspapers

Red Deer Advocate editor Crystal Rhyno visited the school on Wednesday

‘The Heat’ doc examines gender barriers for top female chefs

TORONTO — In making a documentary about top female chefs, Toronto filmmaker… Continue reading

Hank Azaria willing to stop voicing Apu on ‘The Simpsons’

NEW YORK — Hank Azaria is ready to stop voicing Kwik-E-Mart owner… Continue reading

US stocks mostly fall in wobbly trading as costs, rates rise

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are wobbling and trading mostly lower Wednesday… Continue reading

Driver was operating pickup truck while seated in folding lawn chair, police allege

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Police say a driver pulled over in Thunder… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month